Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waldameer: The Early Years

I've gotten a few questions about the park's beach and the original Ravine Flyer so I thought I;d address both together.

These are excerpts from "Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania" by Jim Futrell, director and historian of the National Amusement Park Historical Association. He knows his stuff like nobody's business.

BEACH

"During Waldameer's early years, the park consisted of two areas. At the top of the slope, 70 feet above Lake Erie, was a 10-acre picnic grove with swings, hammocks, and athletic fields. But most of the activity was concentrated on the beach at the bottom of the slope. Linked to the picnic grove by a 1,000-foot-long boardwalk, the beach area featured a swimming pool, a 110-foot-long bathhouse, a pier, a water slide, canoes, and rowboats."

RAVINE FLYER

"As the amusement park industry entered its golden age in the 1920s, George Sinclair, who owned Meyer's Lake Park in Canton, Ohio, came to Waldameer Park and built the park's largest roller coaster, the Ravine Flyer. Opened in 1922, the Ravine Flyer made use of the park's topography to create drops of up to 80 feet, and it traveled over the road that ran in front of the park."

If you're interested, pick up Jim's book; it's a good read!
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